Right now the only new Lotus you can buy in America is the Evora 400, which is an excellent car, but starts around $90,000. Lotus might lower the barrier of entry in the U.S. with a lower-priced companion to the supercharged Evora 400, but not for the reason you might expect.
According to with Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales, Lotus's plan to offer a naturally-aspirated, entry-level Evora doesn't have to do with enticing more customers—it's purely down to regulations. "Over a five-year period in the U.S. we have to show a 3 percent per year reduction in carbon dioxide emissions," said Gales. "One option is remove the supercharger."
He likens this move to McLaren, which offers a detuned 570S alongside the more powerful 650S. Lotus offers four-cylinder engines in the Elise and the Exige, but Gales said a four-pot "wouldn't fit" in the Evora. It's unclear if he means that a four-cylinder wouldn't fit in terms of packaging, personality, or both.
Going supercharger-less would easily be the cheapest and simplest way for Lotus to increase fuel economy and reduce emissions. That it offers U.S. customers a car at a lower price point is a nice bonus for us.
In a way, it'd be like a revival of the original non-S Evora, which back in 2010. While more power is always a good thing, you buy a Lotus more for its superlative chassis, rather than its engine. A naturally aspirated Evora would still offer most of what the Evora 400 brings, but at a (hopefully) more reasonable price point.
Of course, nothing's confirmed yet, so don't go running out to the Lotus showroom with your checkbook in hand yet.